Pacific Islander Poetry & Poetics

For the past decade, I have anthologized and published Pacific Islander poetry in order to raise local, national, and international awareness about the presence and diversity of Pacific literature. Most recently, I guest edited a special folio for Poetry Magazine and curated a list of Pacific authors for the Poetry Foundation.

This feature for West Branch presents two young poets: Nichole Quintanilla, a Chamoru poet from Guahan (Guam), and Jessica Carpenter, a Hawaiian poet from ʻOahu. Both poets write powerfully about their cultures and various issues facing our islands. Both poets are also deeply rooted in voice and spoken word poetics, which is evident in the rhythm of their lines. Overall, Nichole and Jessica represent the talent and passion of a new generation of Pacific poets.

—Craig Santos Perez



Craig Santos Perez is a native Chamoru from the Pacific Island of Guahan (Guam). He is the author of three books, most recently from unincorporated territory [guma'], which received an American Book Award 2015. He is an associate professor in the English department at the University of Hawaiʻi, Mānoa.